Interstitial hyperthermia and interstitial radiotherapy of a rat rhabdomyosarcoma; effects of sequential treatment and consequences for clonogenic repopulation

C. A.J.F. Van Geel*, A. G. Visser, C. M.C. Van Hooije, G. J.M.J.Van Den Aardweg, I. K.K. Kolkman-Deurloo, R. S.J.P. Kaatee, P. C. Levendag

*Corresponding author for this work

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Animal tumour experiments have been performed to elucidate the interactions between interstitial hyperthermia (IHT) and interstitial radiotherapy (IRT), and to obtain information about the most effective sequence of these treatment modalities. Experimental tumours, transplanted in the flank of Wag/Rij rats, were treated with IHT for 0.5 h at 44°C, and with IRT using low dose-rate (LDR) iridium-192 sources. Both tumour cure probability and the fraction of clonogenic cells in vitro after different IHT and IRT treatments in vivo, were used as endpoints. The sequence of a short (0.5 h) IHT treatment followed by an extended LDR-IRT treatment lasting up to 10 days appeared to be very effective, and resulted in a significant thermal enhancement ratio of 1.34 at the 50% tumour cure probability level. A not significantly increased thermal enhancement of 1.06 was found when the same IHT treatment followed IRT. The level of clonogenic cell survival after IHT alone is high (0.24 ± 0.08) compared with that after an IRT dose of 20 Gy (0.017 ± 0.004). Clonogenic cell repopulation started 2-4 days after the in vivo treatment irrespective of the type of treatment. The in vivo combination of IHT and LDR-IRT resulted in lower surviving fractions compared with IRT alone, regardless of the time interval between the end of treatment and in vitro clonogenic assay. IHT followed by LDR-IRT appeared to be the most effective treatment in terms of tumour cure. The in vivo/in vitro studies indicated that the effect of hyperthermia is mainly attributed to radiosensitization, possibly by partial inhibition of sublethal damage repair processes during the subsequent irradiation. The hyperthermia-induced cytotoxicity was of minor importance as estimated from the surviving clonogenic fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-844
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Discussions with W. L. J. van Putten regarding data analysis are gratefully acknowledged. This work is supported by the Dutch Cancer Society (grants DDHK 87-3 and 9 1- 13) and the Nijbakker Morra Foundation.


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